All business decisions happen based on the data that’s available. It makes sense, then, that the more detailed that data is, the more effective those business decisions can be. That’s where data enrichment comes in.

Table of Contents

  1. Data Enrichment Definition
  2. Use Cases for Data Enrichment 
  3. Should Enriching Data be Automated?
  4. Data Enrichment and ETL
  5. Xplenty and Data Enrichment

What is Data Enrichment?

The most widely accepted data enrichment definition involves taking data from external, third-party sources and merging it with an existing database in order to make that data pool more useful. Experian surveys show that 95% of businesses think that poor quality data affects business performance, so enriching it to make it more useful is vital. Keeping data clean and accurate is also an important aspect of Data Quality Assurance (DQA).

Data can come from a variety of sources, including:

  • Customer interaction with advertisements
  • Emails
  • Contact forms from websites
  • Social media interactions
  • Text messages
  • External databases

Many of these data types are not compatible, and many contain large amounts of unstructured data such as the text section of an email. Businesses may store data of this type in a data lake, a type of holding pen for unsorted data. Enrichment requires taking this data and making it compatible with existing databases, ready to support activities like producing reports or providing startling business insights.

Data enrichment also allows for fuller and more complete customer profiles. In addition to contact details, data enrichment could include insight from product reviews based on keyword analysis, shopping habits, browsing habits, and more. This allows businesses to interact with their customers in exactly the right way to give them an edge against their competitors.

With data enrichment, records are more fleshed out, more holistic, and better suited to conducting business across a variety of platforms.

Common Types of Data Enrichment

There are many types of data enrichment, but two stand out when looking at customer records in particular:

  • Demographic enrichment means enhancing your data set by learning more about the customer. Are they married? Do they travel? Do they have kids? Depending on your business focus, these could be key insights that alter the way you do business with this customer. The insights from that could improve the way you deal with all customers in that demographic.
  • Geographical enrichment normally means adding enhanced data about the customer’s location. Businesses can see if they have massive amounts of customers in a single location and plan logistics accordingly. You could tailor products and services to a specific area. The more you know, the better service you can provide for your customers or clients.

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Use Cases for Data Enrichment

Data enrichment services are all about finding a wealth of data from a range of sources. This means that the information you actually request from customers doesn’t have to be as detailed. That leads to shorter contact forms, shorter questionnaires, better customer experiences, and increased brand loyalty.

Machine learning and AI tools like chatbots can gather customer data, and a good set of Business Intelligence (BI) tools will be able to enrich your dataset by picking out the salient points from any one of those conversations, leading to better, more efficient customer profiles and interactions.

Data enrichment can help businesses pick out which types of customers regularly purchase additional products and services, and that information can then help promote those products to customers who will be genuinely interested. This not only boosts profits but increases customer satisfaction by removing the hard sell and replacing it with that bridge between problem and solution.

Should Enriching Data be Automated?

In the past, of course, all data analysis was a manual process, performed only if and when someone was available to assess it. Now, with fierce competition across all industries, that method simply isn’t viable. Data needs to be available the moment a customer presents it to a company, whether that’s via an SMS text message query or a sudden surge of click-throughs on a particular advertisement on social media.

Automating data enrichment allows businesses to have confidence that their data is being updated and enhanced 24/7 with minimal labor required from them. So, how do you enrich your data in a fully automated or scheduled way that keeps business insights pouring in?

Data Enrichment and ETL

ETL stands for extract, transform and load and is a process that gathers data from multiple sources and routed to a single destination, such as a data warehouse.

With a cloud-based ETL solution, businesses are able to easily set up their own data pipelines that funnel whatever types of data they want directly into an existing destination. This final destination could be Amazon Redshift, Google BigQuery, or Salesforce. Of course, all of these options (and more) can serve as sources of data as well. It all depends on your business’s requirements from a data enrichment service.

ETL makes data enrichment simpler because, during that transform phase, data is cleansed and converted into a common format, regardless of the originating source. Sometimes this might include removing duplicate or erroneous entries to make the dataset as valuable as possible. Data enrichment tools also include BI tools which can give a more thorough analysis of data. Great ETL services partner with the best BI tools to provide a complete data enrichment experience.

Integrate Your Data Today!

Try Xplenty free for 14 days. No credit card required.


Xplenty and Data Enrichment

Xplenty is a low-code ETL solution that provides the answer to all sorts of data management challenges. The visual interface makes Xplenty appealing to users with little coding experience thanks to the drag-and-drop system which is very intuitive to learn. The ability to schedule jobs, monitor the progress and status of data movement and add code where necessary makes Xplenty a leading choice for both marketers and developers alike.

Schedule a conversation with Xplenty and find out more about how we can help you enrich your data in the simplest way.